Outdoor Posing, Finding the Right Spot to Produce the Right Look!

Posing in the outdoors or a natural setting is really different from posing inside the studio.  When we are working inside the studio, we work with different props, posing aids and elements of a background or set to position the client at the height and to work with the pose we have in mind.  Outdoors the only thing you know you will have for certain is the ground for seated poses and standing posing.  You must find an area that offers you a variety of options above the ground.  This might be rocks, the bank of a river or creek, stairs or a low branch of a tree.

Once you select an area that provides you with many heights and posing options the next step is to select poses that fit the overall look of the images you are trying to create for your clients tastes.  Many photographers next connect the many elements of a photograph together to produce an images that visually makes sense.  They pose a bride in the same manner as a high school senior and a girl in an elegant dress in the same setting and pose as a girl barefoot with a short pair of jean shorts on.  Each pose has or produces a certain look.  That look needs to coordinate with everything else within the frame.  Having the ability to coordinate posing means that you have to go beyond just remembering simple poses, but remembering the look they produce and what variations are possible to achieve different looks.

On the ground, you can have a young lady lay on her stomach, sit on her hip or sit flat on her bottom with her knees up and resting on the them.  While these 3 poses are all casual in natural and all go with an outdoor scene each pose shows a little different side of the same person.  You have to study the poses you currently use and understand what they visually translate to in the portrait.  Once you understand that, you can then look for simple changes or variations to those existing posing to change the look they achieve to coordinate with other styles of clothing and locations.

When I look for outdoor locations, I look for natural locations, not manicured gardens or parks.  Natural locations, like a river or creek, a forest or area of a city park that is allowed to grow naturally all have the best areas for posing and the most scenes.  Tree branches fall, trees are cut and the stumps are left behind, all give me areas to pose my client on.

The final step in posing is once you have learned the poses, learned how to vary the basic pose to create the look you want, the final step is to finish off you posing with the ability to make small corrections to enhance the person’s appearance.  A small correction would be turning the woman’s body to have a side view to the camera.  Placing the arms so they cover a tummy or the waste band of a tight pair of jeans cutting into the clients stomach.  Refining your posing to make each client look their very best is what we get paid for and what you have to do if you don’t what to spend your life behind the computer in Photoshop fixing things that you should have fixed when creating the portrait in the first place.


~ by jeffsmithbooks on March 14, 2011.

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